Hydrogeophysical characterization of soil using ground penetrating radar
The knowledge of the dynamics of soil water is essential in agricultural, hydrological and environmental engineering as it controls plant growth, key hydrological processes, and the contamination of surface and subsurface water. Nearby remote sensing can be used for characterizing non-destructively the hydrogeophysical properties of the subsurface. In that respect, ground penetrating radar (GPR) constitutes a promising high resolution characterization tool. However, notwithstanding considerable research has been devoted to GPR, its use for assessing quantitatively the subsurface properties is constrained by the lack of appropriate GPR systems and signal analysis methods.
In this study, a new integrated approach is developed to identify from GPR measurements the soil water content and hydraulic properties governing water transfer in the subsurface. It is based on hydrodynamic and electromagnetic inverse modeling. Research on GPR has focused on GPR design, forward modeling of GPR signal, and electromagnetic inversion to estimate simultaneously the depth dependent dielectric constant and electric conductivity of the shallow subsurface, which are correlated to water content and water quality. The method relies on an ultrawide band stepped frequency continuous wave radar combined with an off-ground monostatic TEM horn antenna. This radar configuration offers possibilities for real time mapping and allows for a more realistic forward modeling of the radar-antenna-subsurface system. Forward modeling is based on the exact solution of Maxwell's equations for a stratified medium. The forward model consists in elementary linear components which are linked in series and parallel. The GPR approach is validated for simple laboratory and outdoor conditions. GPR signal inversion enables the monitoring of the soil water dynamics, which can be subsequently inverted for estimating the soil hydraulic properties. A specifically designed hydrodynamic inverse modeling procedure which requires only water content data as input is further developed and validated to obtain the soil hydraulic properties under laboratory conditions.
School:Université catholique de Louvain
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:hydrodynamic inverse modeling gpr soil hydraulic properties radar antenna water content ground penetrating hydrogeophysics electromagnetic
Date of Publication:11/10/2003